Trinity College Hosts 2013 Irish Neurological Association Meeting

Posted on: 17 May 2013

The 49th Annual meeting of the Irish Neurological Association (INA) was recently hosted during the European Month of the Brain by Trinity’s Academic Unit of Neurology in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute. 
The keynote address entitled ‘Value Encoding in the Brain’ was delivered by Professor Ray Dolan,   Mary Kincross Professor of Neuropsychiatry at University College London and Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging. Ranked in the top five most cited neuroscientists in the world, Professor Dolan’s research group seeks to identify the critical determinants of human decision making,   particularly relating to a variety of emotional contexts. In his presentation, he outlined how human decision making is greatly influenced by emotional pathways within the brain, and that much of the process is in fact highly irrational. 
Trinity’s Head of Academic Neurology at the School of Medicine current INA President Professor Orla Hardiman stated that: “The scientific rigour and academic communication skills of the younger generation of clinical neuroscientists is a testament both to the mentoring they receive from established clinicians, and the continued and considerable latent talent of those attracted to careers in Clinical Neuroscience.”
There were over 30 platform presentations during the two day meeting. Trinity College’s Academic Unit of Neurology was well represented by Dr Peter Bede’s presentation on multimodal imaging of the brain in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS ) also known as Motor Neurone Disease), showing that the C9orf72 genotype has a characteristic imaging signal and Dr Parames Iyer’s novel work using spectral EEG showing that ALS is associated with increased neuronal connectivity.  The overall prize for best presentation was awarded to Dr Justin Kinsilla, supervised by Dr Dominick McCabe (Academic Neurology AMNCH) for their ground-breaking work on platelet aggregation. 
The Kirker Prize in Epilepsy, was awarded to Dr Laffan, mentored by Dr Yvonne Langan (Academic Neurology and St James’s Hospital ) for her presentation entitled Heart rate variability and baroreceptor sensitivity in patients with epilepsy: Does they play a role in sudden unexpected death in epilepsy?. 
Over 50 high quality posters were on display during the meeting and prizes were awarded to Dr Susan Byrne (Academic Neurology TCD) for work on Aggregation of Neurodegenerative and Neuropsychiatric Illness in ALS Kindreds, Dr P. Bogdanova-Mihaylova (Academic Neurology/ AMNCH)  focussing on Waardenburg syndrome: a rare cause of inherited neuropathy and to Dr A. Molloy (SVUH) for research work on paroxysmal head tremor in a young man associated with a novel CACNA1A mutation).
The INA meeting  was  made possible by the generous support of sponsors, including  Glaxo Smith Kline, Pfizer, Novartis Ireland, Biogen Idec, Bayer Schering, Merck Serono, UCB Pharma, Genzyme, AbbVie Laboratories and Orion Pharma.